National Recruiting Analyst, Midlands
In compiling this list I noticed a trend that many players from the Lone Star State are standing out, but six months from now I think you will see a number of more players from state's like Oklahoma and Missouri on this list. As far as the 50+ guys who made in to the Scout300 from the Midlands, one player who I think could rise up is Dallas (Texas) Woodrow Wilson athlete Camron Willliams. Williams was one of the most physically impressive specimens I have seen this spring, and when he walked in at the NFTC coaches and reporters were tripping over themselves to find out who he was. He worked out at receiver, but with his size and build he could be looked at as a potential outside linebacker even, it just depends on how he grows. If he progresses and puts together the tape to back up his physical attributes then he could become one of the most heavily recruited players in the DFW.
Midlands Recruiting Analyst, ETx/DFW
I hate to be "that guy" and pick somebody from one of my primary regions of coverage, but the first name to jump out at me is Tyler John Tyler defensive tackle Braylon Jones. The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder is No. 37 on our initial Midlands Top 50 for the 2016 class, but I could easily see him higher, possibly in the teens. He really reminds me of past East Texas interior defensive linemen who have made names for themselves in the recruiting game: Jamarkus McFarland, Ashton Dorsey, Isaiah Golden, D.J. Williams, Zaycoven Henderson, Daylon Mack. For months, I have half-jokingly referred to him as "East Texas' next great defensive tackle," but I fully believe that. He has the frame and the athleticism to be a real difference-maker at the next level. He plays an even-front 3-technique spot in John Tyler's defense and had an impressive sophomore season in 2013, his first on varsity. Jones had more than 60 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, while drawing double-teams on almost every down. He should be a terror as a one-gap penetrator at the next level. If he can add some pass-rushing technique to his game -- right now he's mostly a bull-rusher and run-game disrupter -- I could definitely see him climbing the ranks. Not only that, but expect his offer list to explode at some point. I'm admittedly a bit baffled that Air Force and Navy are his only offers so far, but his coach has told me that several big-boy programs are already interested, including Auburn, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Midlands Recruiting Analyst, Houston
Choosing which player should be higher on the lsit is about as subjective as putting the list together in the first place. But that is what we do, rank things. With that said, my knee-jerk reaction was to say that Beaumont Central athlete Devwah Whaley is a little low at No. 19, but then again to be the Top 20 in the region is not a bad place to be (though this same time next year we will revisit as he will be higher – bet on it). But my selection for a player who is too low is Wetsifled wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. He had a little over 30 catches last season when a sophomore at Northbrook, but it doesn't take many clips to see that this young man's ceiling is high. He will likely step into the Westfield offense and be the No. 1 target, and that's not an indictment on the guys there, but that Cleveland is that good. So for him to be at No. 33, perhaps that is a good place for Cleveland to be...for now. Check back after his junior season when I predict that he will light up several secondaries and add to an already potent offense that is heavily run based. the Cleveland element will be one to pay attention to. I know I will.
Midlands Recruiting Analyst, Upper Midlands
I'll roll with McKinley Mitchell of Plano (TX) West. As many know, he comes from a family full of great athletes, the most recent being his brother Mike Mitchell who signed with Ohio State, but has since transferred to Texas Tech. The four-star linebacker is already 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, while having plus athleticism. He was a top scorer at a Nike SPARQ combine over the spring. With his size being what it is already, and his testing numbers being at the top of his list, the potential is through the roof for the rising junior. His brother Mike wasn't a five-star originally but eventually earned the honors. I can see McKinley following in the same pattern.
Midlands Recruiting Reporter, Cen-Tex
This question is a bit more difficult because there are so many players you could argue about, but my pick is Beaumont (Texas) Central Senior receiver Devwah Whaley. Ranked as a receiver, Whaley comes in at 19 on the Midlands Top 50 (21 at his position and 101 overall for 2016). However, what I think makes Whaley such an interesting prospect (and perhaps a reason he's not ranked higher) is that he is a true athlete: he's dynamic at both receiver and running back. From a pure football perspective, he could be one of the top ten best prospects in Texas for this class…maybe even 5-7. He has elite quickness, elite speed, and ideal size, at about 6-foot, 185. Big programs have already taken notice of Whaley, whose offers include Texas, Baylor, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, and more.